Silent Hill is one of the most popular psychological horror films, not just because it’s an adaptation of the Konami video game released in 1999, but also because it’s quite a unique viewing experience.
The film was released in 2006 and it was directed by Christophe Gans. It centers around Rose and her adoptive daughter Sharon. Sharon is from Silent Hill, a town abandoned for 30 years due to a massive coal seam fire. She’s a sleepwalker and her episodes are quite severe, which concern Rose and her husband Christopher. Sharon cries out for Silent Hill and attempts to go there as she sleepwalks.
They’ve tried everything to help her, but the nightmares continue. That’s why Rose decides to take Sharon to Silent Hill, hoping that it will help. She does this against Christopher’s wishes and, on the road there, her erratic behavior catches the eye of police officer Cybil Bennet.
Rose gets nervous and she flees from Cybil, hoping to get to Silent Hill quickly. However, a girl suddenly appears on the road, causing her to crash and black out. When she wakes up, she’s in foggy Silent Hill, and it’s clear to the viewer that she’s in another dimension. Sharon has disappeared, so Rose sets out to find her.
As Rose explores the town, it becomes clearer and clearer that she’s trapped there. What’s more, the town slowly shows its true colors as she looks for Sharon, turning into a nightmarish dimension full of awful monsters. Rose survives these encounters, and she learns about Alessa Gillespie, a girl who was burnt by a fanatical cult called the Brethren.
Cybil was so close behind Rose that she also entered Silent Hill’s dimension and she’s after Rose. This story runs parallel to Christopher in the real world, who’s looking for Rose and also discovers that Sharon is actually Alessa, who was saved by policeman Thomas Gucci from the fire.
Back in Silent Hill, Rose and Cybil explore a hotel, where they find the remains of the Bethren’s ceremonial chamber. As the town turns into the dark dimension, they hide in a church, where they meet Christabella, the Brethren high priestess.
When Rose explains why she’s there, Christabella sends them to a hospital, where a “demon” might give them answers. But when she sees a picture of Sharon in Rose’s locket, she claims they’re witches, because Sharon and Alessa look the same, and the cult attacks them. Cybil fights them so Rose can escape.
Rose finds the hospital and she goes to the basement, which is guarded by the creepiest nurses you’ll ever see. Rose sneaks past, and when she reaches Alessa’s room, she’s treated to a flashback where it’s explained that Alessa was stigmatized by the town because she was born out of wedlock, so Christabella convinces Dahlia, her mother, to purify her.
Christabella in fact immolates Alessa for a ritual, but Dahlia realizes her mistake too late. She runs to find Gucci, but when they get there the coal seam fire is ignited. Alessa was severely burnt and while she’s at the hospital, her rage grows so intense that it manifests as Dark Alessa, the entity responsible for Silent Hill’s dark dimension. What’s left of Alessa’s innocence manifests as Sharon, who’s taken to the real world by Gucci.
To find Sharon, Rose allows Dark Alessa to fuse with her to enter the church. Once there, they find Sharon has been captured and Cybil was burnt to death. Rose confronts Christabella and the cult for their actions and Christabella stabs her in the heart.
However, Rose’s blood summons Alessa and Dark Alessa, who kill Christabella and her followers. Rose survives and finally rescues Sharon, but before she found her, Alessa and Dark Alessa reunited into Sharon’s body. Rose and Alessa finally go home, but it’s revealed that, in the end, they’re still stuck in the foggy dimension.
This film is amazing not just because of the monsters, which are super well-done, but also because the story is rich and it keeps you wondering what’s really going on. The ending is actually heart-wrenching, and it’s a film you’ll want to watch more than once.